JASS Blog Archives for September 2016

by JASS on September 9, 2016 on 10:29 am

By Maureen Kademaunga

The fires we light are not fires to set alight police cars, they are small cooking fires we make in our township backyards to feed the children when there's no electricity.

The fires we light are not fires to set alight our neighbor's small-time business, they are rare passions we ignite in each other to soldier on, set up vending stalls and make a living against all odds.

The fires we light are not fires to torch public buildings, they are rare passions we ignite in our little children's hearts to get up and learn something new even when we know their future stands uncertain.

The fires we light are not fires to burn our flag or bring shame to our beautiful Zimbabwe, they are small fires we put together on Jozi's street corners to keep warm while we cross the border and engage in a useful trade.

The fires we light are not fires we sit around and laugh, they are fires we sit around at a relatives funeral and mourn our dysfunctional health services and the life it purloined.

The fires we make, we the women of Zimbabwe, tell our daily story of struggle.

We are sorry Sir, if our small fires make for space for political talk that makes you uneasy.

We are deeply sorry our dear leader, if our small fires have ignited, in our people, the passion and fiery that will consume you.

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by Daysi Yamileth Flores Hernandez on September 7, 2016 on 12:32 pm

The skies wept as together we received the month of September in the town of La Esperanza, Honduras. Hundreds of visitors brought with them hearts that beat to the rhythms of their struggles, their love and the many colors of their dreams; they brought their cameras, drums, pens, and the united cry to demand once and for all: Justice for Berta!

The force and the conviction of our presence can be felt not only in this town, but in every community, in every river, in every voice, in every mountain, and even in far-off places where solidarity has grown and today comes together to remind the world that it has been #6monthswithoutJustice.

The COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras) welcomes us with open arms, and with the care and hospitality of taking us into their home without regard for where you come from or what your issue is. They know we're here to support their struggle, which is our own. They know we are honoring Berta and honoring COPINH. On arriving, beautiful images of Berta's face appear as if to say: "I'm here!"  And your soul winces because the pain of her physical absences hurts like glass cuts to the heart, but then her voice is right beside you as you read her words on a banner: "The right to be happy is very subversive and that's why we should all aspire to be happy", and you see again her broad smile, her laughter, her jokes, her dances... Her love and her passion for life are right there in front of you!

With this spirit of love—so distant from the logic of "development"—we begin today to walk together to demand a permanent halt to the Agua Zarca project, an independent commission investigation into Berta's assassination, and an end to the exploitation of Mother Earth and the persecution of those who care for her and defend her. I have my hat ready, woven proudly by the women of La Cuchilla, a township declared mining-free, who like all the women in these parts have come here today to demand Justice for Berta!

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by Daysi Yamileth Flores Hernandez on September 2, 2016 on 12:34 pm

Los cielos recibieron septiembre llorando. La Esperanza recibe a cientos de visitantes que traen consigo el corazón palpitante de las luchas, el amor, los múltiples colores de sus sueños, sus cámaras, sus tambores, sus plumas, sus voces y sus gritos para exigir una vez más: Justicia para Berta

La fuerza y la convicción de su presencia se palpa no sólo en este pueblo, sino en cada comunidad, en cada río, en cada voz, en cada montaña y hasta en pueblos lejanos solidarios que hoy se unen a nosotras recordando que ya son #6mesessinJusticia.

El COPINH nos recibe con el amor de siempre, con el cuidado y primor de acogernos en su hogar sin importar nuestra procedencia o nuestra lucha particular. Saben que estamos aquí acuerpando su lucha que es nuestra, saben que estamos honrando a Berta y honrando al COPINH. Al no más entrar hermosas imagenes del rostro de Berta aparecen como diciendo: aquí estoy! Y el alma se hace pequeñita porque su ausencia física duele como vidrios en el corazón y de justo después, con la presencia de su voz se lee: El derecho a ser feliz es algo muy subversivo y por eso, debemos aspirar a ser felices. Y con esas palabras aparece su amplia sonrisa, sus carcajadas, sus bromas, sus bailes... aparece su amor y su pasión por la vida! 

Es ese amor, poco entendido por el desarrollo, con el que hoy emprendemos camino para seguir exigiendo que se pare el proyecto Agua Zarca, que se investigue el asesinato de Berta con una Comisión Independiente y que paren la explotación de la madre tierra y la persecución de aquellas personas que la cuidan y la defienden. Ya tengo listo mi sombrero, orgullosamente tejido por las mujeres de La Cuchilla, municipio declarado libre de minería, quienes al igual que todas por estos lados vienen hoy a exigir Justicia para Berta!

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